NEWARK, NJ - The Devils play their final home game of the pre-season tonight and wrap up what's been a busy week with their fifth game in seven days when the New York Islanders visit Prudential Center.
Last night, the club defeated the New York Rangers 4-2. Tonight, none of the players from that game are in the contest. Based on morning skate, lines are expected to be:
Prior to the game, Nikita Gusev granted a rare interview, due to his limited English. He spoke through a translator and talked about his first few weeks at Devils camp.
"I hope so in a couple of games," he said, when asked about how comfortable he is with the North American ice. "I will feel comfortable and completely ready for the regular season games."
He was also asked about his linemates, which has primarily been Jack Hughes in camp so far.
"I like my partners and I think every game and every practice is going to be better and better."
SMITH AND SEVERSON TOGETHER AGAIN
Ty Smith will be playing again with Damon Severson as the duo has played with one another for a good portion of camp and pre-season. Severson talked about building chemistry with the rookie.
"He's a good puck mover. I think he comes as advertised," said Severson. "You can skate while he sees the play and the biggest thing for him is keeping his game simple and not being nervous just going to trust in his game and realize what got him here."
Severson also spoke about helping Smith through tough situations as camp progresses.
"I know he was a little bit rattled after the one turnover behind the net last game so I think he's looking to have a bounce-back night tonight. He's going to be good for us for a long time."
Smith also chimed in on the chemistry the two players have.
"I like Severson, he said. "He's played in the League for a little while and he's obviously a great defender and I think he's a good partner for me. He's pretty solid back there, makes good plays and helps me out a lot. I'm definitely fortunate to be able to play with him."
SCHNEIDER IN BETWEEN THE PIPES
Cory Schneider will play the entire game tonight as he continues to get ready for the season. Schneider talked about wanting to play an entire game to ensure he gets into all situations.
"I think mentally to kind of get engaged for 60 minutes and finish the game off, you know, it's a close game or those situations where maybe it's a six-on-five those are good tests and could check marks to go through and get ready for the regular season because of the situations you're going to see."
"Looking forward to it should be fun."
Schneider was asked about tandem partner Mackenzie Blackwood.
"It's been great," Schneider said of the relationship between the two. "obviously we haven't seen very much of each other. We've been a different groups and you know haven't really been together a lot. But for him he's trying to build off of a great finish to last season and start to his career. We've always talked about his talent level and his compete level."
-- Marc Ciampa, NewJerseyDevils.com
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
35 Cory Schneider 50 Evan Cormier
2 Colton White 5 Connor Carrick 8 Will Butcher 24 Ty Smith 28 Damon Severson 38 Michael Paliotta 45 Sami Vatanen
44 Sebastian Aho 38 Kyle Burroughs 45 Noah Dobson 4 Thomas Hickey 2 Nick Leddy 24 Scott Mayfield 3 Adam Pelech
13 Mathew Barzal 20 Kieffer Bellows 28 Michael Dal Colle 49 Arnaud Durandeau 11 Tanner Fritz 7 Jordan Eberle 74 Simon Holmstrom 66 Mason Jobst 32 Ross Johnston 48 Otto Koivula 47 Leo Komarov 14 Tom Kuhnhackl 37 Matt Lorito 27 Anders Lee